Voluntary COVID testing program rolls out at Pearson Airport

As new regulations regarding COVID-19 tests for inbound international travellers takes effect, the province is rolling out a voluntary testing program for arrivals at Pearson Airport.

The province said Wednesday that the new program, which launches ahead of a federal regulation requiring travellers coming into the country to provide a negative COVID19 test within 72 hours of arrival, is intended to put a curb on the spread of the virus.

“We can’t take any unnecessary risks,” said Premier Doug Ford, flanked by Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones during a press conference Wednesday afternoon, who indicated that the new program is intended to help the province stay ahead of “new threats” like a new strain of the COVID-19 virus that has been reported in confirmed cases in Canada and other countries without the same travel restrictions as the U.K.

The program is open to anyone entering the country and staying longer than 14 days. Passengers arriving from outside the country can preregister to receive a test when they arrive, either performed by a health care provider or a self-administered test by video.

“We are working closely with our industry partners to proceed on our commitment to implement testing at Pearson to help keep people safe and stop the spread of COVID19 in our communities,” said Elliott. “This airport testing pilot will test, trace and help isolate COVID-19 cases early and is a great step forward in protecting our borders.”

Travellers will still have to self isolate for 14 days, regardless of the outcome of the test, said the province in a statement Wednesday. “Introducing testing at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport will help stop the transmission of the virus and support the development of a longer-term testing strategy needed for international travel.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to doing what is needed to protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” said Jones. Travellers can register for the program by visiting torontopearson.com/testing.

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Asia Metro Editor

Surjit Singh Flora

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